minecraft-logo-notch-markus-persson-mojangWe at TechNorms have written about Minecraft before, and usually in a positive tone. It’s a fun game. You wander around the wilderness, building shelters or whatever you want really while trying to survive against everything that goes bump in the night. Minecraft is all about whatever you want to make it.

That DIY spirit even includes the graphics. Markus “Notch” Persson, the developer, was nice enough to include a built in graphics switcher. What that means is you can download “texture packs” for Minecraft that completely swap out the visuals. There’s a huge community of people out there making texture packs, and of course they’re all totally free. Don’t be shy with donations for people whose art you really enjoy, though.

Sill, hunting down decent texture packs can be something of a chore. Here’s a couple colorful (and not) alternatives to the usual visual scheme in Minecraft.

Here’s a List Of The Top 10 Minecraft Texture Packs

LB Photo Realism

This one gets top billing for being my favorite. If you’ve got some higher graphics power, then you can run a mod that really does have photo-realistic graphics. It’s incredible.

The only downside (besides the higher processing requirement) is that it has to be installed via mcpatcher, a mod manager for Minecraft. Still, the installation isn’t difficult and photo-realistic visuals are totally worth it.

hd-texture-pack-photo-realism-minecraftminecraft-hd-texture-pack-mcpatcher

Download LB Photo Realism

CartoonCraft

This is another favorite of mine. CartoonCraft simplifies the textures present in Minecraft in favor of bright colors and a cheery aesthetic. In other words, it’s exactly what you’d expect from something named CartoonCraft.

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Download CartoonCraft

Painterly Pack

Of all the texture packs I tried, Painterly Pack was the most interesting. Go to their ***website and you’re presented with a sort of massive questionnaire. Instead of simply giving you a texture pack, the Painterly people kindly give you the option of selecting each individual texture to download.

Pack01

I won’t lie, choosing a graphic for every part of the game takes forever. The advantage, though, is that they offer a lot of choices and whatever you end up with will be your choice.

From the graphics I picked, the Painterly Pack is decidedly not HD but still colorful. Not as colorful as CartoonCraft, though. Painterly occupies a certain happy medium. If you’re willing to spend a ton of time picking out graphics, this should work.

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minecraft-texture-pack-painterly-pack-custom

Download Painterly Pack

Diamond Craft

Diamond Craft was certainly the funniest texture pack I found. Like the name suggests, it turns almost every block in the game into a diamond. Or at least it gives them the appearance of a diamond.

Either way, it looks pretty cool to see everything in bright diamond blue. I don’t know if I’d actually play with this on, but points for originality.

minecraft-texture-pack-diamond-craft-alternative-visuals

minecraft-texture-pack-diamond-craft-alternative-visuals

Download Diamond Craft

LegoPak

When I was researching, an idea hit me. What about a Lego texture pack? How cool would that be? I quickly found and downloaded LegoPak.

It’s a bit of a disappointment, honestly. Seeing everything in Lego form is undeniably awesome, but the colors behind the Legos are kind of bland.

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minecraft-texture-pack-lego-pack-alternate-visuals

Download Lego Pak

Transparent

Transparent was easily the most creative idea I came across. This texture pack uses the singularly unique idea of making all blocks independent except for a small framework to indicate their placement.

The catch is that the valuable materials like gold and diamond are not transparent, and you can see them now. It makes mining infinitely easier when you can see through the ground.

On an unrelated note, being able to see through the ground is amazing. The ground in Minecraft is always riddled with tunnels, and with Transparent you can actually see them all. It’s awe-inspiring.

minecraft-texture-pack-mod-transparent

minecraft-texture-pack-mod-transparent

Download Transparent

BorderCraft

Hardcore gamers will probably remember Borderlands, the 2009 shooter-RPG known for its exceptionally colorful cell shaded graphics. Thankfully, somebody decided to bring that aesthetic to Minecraft.

In BorderCraft, everything is rendered in bold black outlines and colorful cell shading. It makes for a strange texture pack, but I liked it. The only issue is that it somehow changes the text of the game, a minor annoyance.

minecraft-texture-pack-border-craft-borderlands-cell-shading

minecraft-texture-pack-border-craft-borderlands-cell-shading

Download BorderCraft

Black & White

Black & White is exactly what it sounds like. This texture pack renders the world of Minecraft in shades of fetching grey. The water, lava, and a few trees (not sure why) remain in color, though. These give off a sort of Sin City aesthetic. It’s pretty cool.

minecraft-texture-pack-black-and-white

minecraft-texture-pack-black-and-white

Download Black & White

Skyrim

No, this isn’t the game. However, somebody did make an HD texture pack based off of Bethesda’s latest smash hit. It looks a lot like LB Photo Realism, but not quite as good.

Bottom line is that if you’re a Skyrim fan who’s taking a break from a marathon session, this will feel just like home. Requires mcpatcher.

minecraft-texture-pack-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-hd

minecraft-texture-pack-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim

Download Skyrim

Summerfield

Summerfield is another solid HD texture pack. It’s a little more stylized than LB Photo Realism, but in a good way. Everything is drawn in smooth, appealing colors. If you’ve got mcpatcher, it’s worth installing.

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minecraft-texture-pack-summer-field-craft-HD

Download Summerfield

Whatever you pick, there’s probably a texture pack out there somewhere that will fit your needs. Minecraft is awesome like that.

What texture pack do you use? Let us know in the comments.